Date of Completion

12-20-2013

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Steve Schatz

Abstract

Communities of Practice (CoP) are groups where users who share the same interests can discuss a particular practice while sharing resources, tools, and work arounds. With a unique business model and product line as well as a significant portion of Mabey Inc. employees in remote locations, a CoP will bridge the communication and distance gap to make learning and development easier and more fluid. Mabey Inc. chose to install Yammer to facilitate their CoP. With this initiative all employees were enrolled in the system and encouraged to use it but not given any directive on how or how often to use Yammer. The goals of installing a Yammer included

  1. For remote employees to have a place to share successes and feel connected to their coworkers and what is going on in the rest of the company.
  2. For newer employees to have exposure to the noncanonical practices from veteran employees and have a forum for employees to ask questions.

This project spans three months and began 2 months after Yammer was introduced to Mabey Inc. employees. Over the three month evaluation period data was collected weekly to record the content, author, and responses to each post. Posts were evaluated and assigned a number from 1-5 based on the type of information it communicated. The Training Team also made weekly initiatives to encourage communication and learning among employees. These initiatives included responding to posts, asking questions, and posting relevant content. Throughout the evaluation period employee participation on Yammer rose, the quality of the content improved and the number of responses to posts increased. There was also a rise in best practice posts allowing employees to learn and share how they are doing their jobs. In the latter half of the research there was also an emergence of question on the site which indicated employees were using the system as a resource for learning and just in time training.